The Problem of Evil - Beechen Cliff School Humanities Faculty
The Problem of Evil Fill in the Blanks: The Problem of Evil A famous version of the problem of evil was put forward by the philosopher Epicurus. He asks three questions: Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able to? Then he is not omnipotent If God able to prevent evil, but not willing to? Then he is malevolent (evil) Is God able to prevent evil and willing to? Then why is there evil?
Natural evil Peter Vardy in The Puzzle of Ethics (1999) lays out the different areas which could be described as natural evil: Animal suffering Pain resulting from apparently poor design of the human body (.e.g. pain in
childbirth, old age Suffering caused by natural disasters Pain resulting from disease Psychologi
cal illness What is the problem? Hollywoods view: the evidential problem of evil Good Morning Vietnam Expressed as a syllogism(A syllogism (Greek: syllogismos, "conclusion, inference") is a
kind of logical argument that applies deductive reasoning to arrive at a conclusion based on two or more propositions that are asserted or assumed to be true: Suffering exists An all good, all powerful God would not permit suffering Therefore, an all good, all powerful God cannot exist (Proposed by David Hume Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion)
Ways out of the problem for theists? Theodicies defences of God Augustinian Irenaean Both Theodicy Theodicy
justify the existence of evil by a good and powerful God. NB: there is no problem of evil for atheists The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by
rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (1995) No problem of evil for atheists In
a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference. Richard Dawkins What is your reaction to this quote? Do you agree with Dawkins? Why or why not? Does his view imply there is no basis for justice?
Stephen Frys view Stephen Fry's interview with Gay B yrne An alternative Fry - up Could you have done better than a) Gay Byrne b) Stephen Fry? Now is your chance! Using the source material provided, plus other research of your own, your group will produce a dialogue between Stephen Fry
and Gay Byrne . We want the interviewer to be challenging Stephen Fry though! Be prepared for questions from the audience! Who am I? Re-Cap! I believe God is NOT all-loving He/She wont help us. I believe God is NOT all-powerful She/He cant help us I think only two of three points can exist at the same time (all-loving, powerful and knowing) The Judeo-Christian idea of God does not exist Its me!
David Hume! So, you have seen some possible explanations to the problem of evil, but both Hume and Aquinas make it difficult to accept the Judeo-Christian concept of God. What other responses are there that try to solve the problem of evil? 1. The Augustinian Theodicy Three key 2. The Irenaean Theodicy 3. Process Theodicy
theodicies What is a theodicy? A theodicy = justification of God. Each theodicy tries to explain how the existence of God and the existence of evil is compatible. The Augustinian Theodicy Also known as the free will defence https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEPRz3 WeJio Evil is the PRIVATION of good, just as darkness is
the absence of light. Augustine said that evil came not from God, whom is all-good, but from those entities which had free willangels and humans who turned their backs on God, the supreme good, and settled for lesser goods. As a consequence, the state of perfection was ruined by human SIN and the delicate balance of the world was destroyed. When humans choose to disobey God, they create an absence of good within themselves.
Explaining Privatio Boni Brian Davies argues that Something made by God has evil is not a substance but an intended nature/purpose. As a gap between what there long as it lives up to its is and what there ought to It purpose it remains perfect. can have nobe.
evil because it is living up to Gods purpose. Privation an absence or lack of something However, over time things can stop fulfilling their purpose fully. Incompleteness enters and so imperfection does to. The incompleteness takes the object away from Gods purpose. This is evil. It exists only as an absence of Good (privatio Boni) Research Task
10 minu te Number 1s: You will be completing the fact finding part of the worksheet Number 2s: You will be looking at the reasons behind Augustines theory Number 3s: You will begin the evaluation of Augustinian Theodicy You now need to join together in groups of three, 1 from each
research area, and share your information so that your sheet is complete. s! TASK Create a diagram to represent the Theodicy of Augustine It can have images and words Buzz the Anagram!! aenistugu
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